Four cautions when crafting sales strategy – beware of falling into the FAST trap

Sales strategy traps

Much has been written about the importance of crafting a good sales strategy including many how-to’s. But what about the flip side? Here is a starter list with four all too common traps sales reps fall into when crafting sales strategy. We’ve made easy to remember – beware of falling into the FAST trap.

  1. Failing to fully identify and analyze obstacles.  By only looking at the “upside”, the sales rep has an incomplete picture of the opportunity.
  2. Analyzing the competition only from the sales rep’s view of the competition vs. also considering the customer’s view of the competition. The two perspectives rarely are the same – the customer may not value something the sales rep brings to the table yet overvalue something a competitor offers.
  3. Substituting a “to do” list of discrete tasks for a strategy. A list is just that – a collection of discrete tasks – that may or may not contribute to meeting the strategy.
  4. Taking the time to think and write down the strategy.  Just filling out a CRM screen alone doesn’t help a sales person think through a strategy.  But as old fashioned as it might sound, the act of putting pencil to paper or keying in some sentences and bullet points outlining a strategy onto a laptop or tablet requires sales people to think through their strategy – and if holes exist, that’s when they begin to become apparent.

 What traps might you add to the list?

Check out other posts on sales effectiveness at the Sales Training Connection. 

©2011 Sales Horizons™, LLC

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About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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